COLLECTION: Quilts & Coverlets

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Unfinished Crazy Quilt by Presbyterian Church Ladies

1886
Origin: America, Wisconsin, Reedsburg
OH 77" x OW74" (196 x 188 cm.)
Silks, cottons; silk ribbon; silk, chenille, and metallic embroidery threads
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2007.609.3
This is a rectangular crazy quilt composed of twenty squares of applied asymmetrical silk textiles and fan shapes, all overlaid with embroidery stitches forming names and initials, flowers, star and moon, butterflies, horseshoe, raised work mouse, spider web and other insects. The materials of the front include satins, plaids, velvets, and jacquard patterns. The quilt is bordered with ribbons and textiles cut to points at the edges. The quilt is unfinished around edges, where textiles are basted to cotton backing. It has tied quilting with thin cotton batting.

Stitches: blanket stitch, chain, couching, cross, double feather, fern, herringbone, knots, lazy daisy, outline, ribbon work, satin, straight. tied straight stitch
Label:This lively crazy quilt was made in 1886 by the ladies of the Presbyterian Missionary & Aid Society of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, which was organized by Mrs. O. W. Winchester. Her husband Oliver Winchester was pastor of the church from 1880 to 1886. Twenty women joined forces to create the quilt, which was intended as a gift for Rev. Winchester in 1886. The quilt was never finished, however; it was never backed and still retains basting stitches around the edges. The identities of the women who signed their initials can be traced in the extant church records.
Provenance:The quilt was made in 1886 by the ladies of the Presbyterian Missionary & Aid Society, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, which was organized by Mrs. O. W. Winchester. Her husband Oliver Winchester was pastor from 1880-1886. The quilt was given to Oliver Winchester in 1886 and later came into the possession of Miss Mildred Perry, who gave it to her friend Eleanor Luehrsen about 1985. Ms. Luehrsen presented it to the First Presbyterian Church in July 2004. The makers of the quilt were:
Mrs. Nathaniel (Sarah Ann Stewart) Sallade; Mrs. Joseph (Lavina Reed) Green; Mrs. John (Cornelia Lusk) De Vor; Mrs. Ralph (Helen Neely) Perry; Mrs. David (Mary Meyers) Rudd; Mrs. George T. (Belle Ward) Morse; Mrs. Franklin (Estella Stewart) Howland; Mrs. John (Sarah Ann Dormick) Steward (Mrs. Howland's mother); Mrs. Mortimer (Mary E. Mackey) Finch; Mrs. Gastin; Mrs. James Willis (Lucy Mallory) Gale; Mrs. Ed (Eleanor Burnett) O'Dell; Mrs. Solomon (Lydia Herrick Grove) Dwinell (he was a minister); Mrs. William (Harriet) Pixley; Mrs. Charles A. (Vanelia Crocker) Rood; Mrs. Abner (Laura Martindale) Hunt; Mrs. Edward (Urala Ann Noyes) Merriman; Mrs. Henry (Mary Smith) Hunt; Mrs. Safford (Harriet Marquisee) Mackey; and Mrs. Abner (Francis Smith) Harris. (Genealogical information provided by Donna Lange, Reedsburg, Wisconsin.)